When you’re living a location independent lifestyle, working out what to pack or more importantly, what to leave behind is a major headache.
Before I travelled full-time, I used to think of packing as a collection of essentials for a particular trip. But now, packing is somewhat different for me. Certainly, the goal is still to have the essentials, but when there’s no home comfort to return to, the art of packing itself is the framework for my minimalist lifestyle.
I find that the Pareto principle also applies to the art of packing. The goal is to take the 20% of gear that will cover 80% of the situations. If you find yourself saying “this will come in handy when _”, then sell it / throw it away.
Besides the obvious perks of travelling light, walking on and off flights with just a carry-on, I believe the minimalistic lifestyle has given me the freedom, self-satisfaction, and ease to travel and live a life of content. Most importantly, there’s an enormous psychological benefit that is hard to put into words until you’ve experienced it yourself.
Here are the absolute essentials that make my trips easier, without destroying my bank balance or luggage allowance, and keeping to my almost-minimalist lifestyle.
First things first, the backpack. When most people pack for a trip, they make a list of things to pack and try to fit it in the bag. A better approach will be to find the bag you want to take and see what fits inside.
After a lot of research, the backpackI ended up choosing was the Osprey Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack. I’m very glad I ended up choosing this, It holds a surprising amount of stuff and fits aircraft overhead lockers perfectly.
Even when you fill it up fully, it feels very light and the chest/waist straps are great for that extra padded support and stability. It never felt heavy or awkward.
My favourite part is the detachable day pack to take my laptop and important documents to co-working spaces, coffee shops, day tours, and so on.
Volcanic Grey 55 Travel Backpack
- Pyjama (1)
- Long sleeve shirt (3)
- V-neck t-shirts from H&M (4)
- Lightweight sweatshirt (1)
- Lightweight windbreaker Jacket (1)
- Tank-top (2) – I could use more than one.
- Boxers (4)
- Sport travel shorts (1)
- Black Jeans (2)
- Tank-top (2) – I could use more than one.
- Track pants (1)
- Shorts (1)
- Socks (3 pairs)
- UL hiking/travel shoes– My favourite shoes, ever. Super comfy - Very popular with the CrossFit crowd for good reason.
- Crocs Modi Sandals- My sandal of choice by far. Super comfy and they handle long term travel with ease.
- A low top black Converse Sneaker- works for formal occasions ;)
Men's V-Neck T Shirt
Adidas Track Pants
Crocs MODI Flip-Flop
Slip-resistant non-marking outsole
Converse Unisex Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top Basketball Shoe
Inov-8 F-Lite 195 Lightweight Racing Shoe
Electronics / Digital-Nomad Mobile Office:
- 13” MacBook Pro - my whole life as a consultant is on this laptop.
- Unlocked iPhone 6 - My primary phone.
- Oneplus 3T - Secondary phone and I also use it as a wifi hotspot.
- Amazon Kindle - one of my most essential items. A book library in the palm of your hands and you’ll never get stuck reading crappy magazines. Additionally, you can send the online articles saved on Pocket and read them when you’re offline.
- Audio-Technica Headphones - Certainly a game changer for working in coffee shops or co-working spaces.
- Universal Plug Adapter.
- Bluetooth speaker.
- Anker PowerCore 26800 Portable Charger - I’ve used many portable batteries, and this is the best one I’ve ever used.
- Roost Laptop Stand - If you work on your computer while travelling, the Roost Stand is a must have. Your back will thank you for it. It’s ultra-compact, work for most laptops (PC / MAC), this the go-to laptop stand for digital nomads.
- GoPro HERO5.
- My Passport Portable External Hard - My philosophy here is, go BIG or go home. It stores a whopping 2 terabytes of data.
- Fujifilm X100F.
Apple 13" MacBook Pro
Apple iPhone 6 Gold
OnePlus 3T Gray
6GB RAM, 64 GB
Kindle Paperwhite E-reader
6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi)
Universal Travel Adapter
Sony SRSX11 Ultra-Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Anker PowerCore 26800 Portable Charger
Roost Laptop Stand
PC and MacBook Stand
WD My Passport Portable External Hard Drive
Fujifilm X100F Digital Camera
Travel Essentials / Accessories:
- Hidden Money Belt / Wallet.
- Headlamp (Mammut S-lite) + spare AA battery – Lightest headlamp I could find that accepts a standard AA battery.
- Microfiber Travel Towel - comes with FREE hand towel, good for going for the beach, dries quickly.
- Reusable eco-friendly water bottle.
- Micro steel cable – Occasionally I feel the need to lock my backpack to a fixed object, e.g. when I’m sleeping on a bus.
- Handkerchief (doubles as an eyemask / dustmask / washcloth).
- Waterproof travel watch.
- Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker .
- Packing cube set for organisation.
- Dry pack to protect your gadgets.
- Braun BT3040 Hair / Beard Trimmer for Men.
- Himal Outdoor Travel Hammock - Compact, lightweight, sturdy. Perfect if you’re heading to the beach, countryside, or jungle.
- Voyage Pillow - My secret to sleeping anywhere, i mean, anywhere.
- Health card.
- Cash in currency of country.
- Revolut card.
- Medical Immunizations Record.
- A photocopied document of all your personal identification cards backed up in google drive.
- Emergency contact Information.
- Insurance Policy information.
- Flight details.
- First Aid Medical Kit (small enough to fit in a daypack) - Absolutely essential. You can get to a pharmacy anywhere, but it’s not fun with a puncture wound in your foot or when you can’t make it off the bathroom floor. Nice to have some things ready to go.
- Ibuprofen (pain-killers).
- Water tablets.
Adventure Medical Kits
Ultralight and Watertight
Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets
So there you have it.
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